Universal Access To All Knowledge
Home Donate | Store | Blog | FAQ | Jobs | Volunteer Positions | Contact | Bios | Forums | Projects | Terms, Privacy, & Copyright
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload

Reply to this post | See parent post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Aug 15, 2010 5:58am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

So Rembrandt (1936) isn't PD. Too many ups and downs on that one!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Aug 15, 2010 6:39am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

No, its still PD. The lack of a valid notice renders the registration & renewal invalid. So "Rembrandt" was PD in the US before GATT and copyright was not restored because the film was not eligible for restoration.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: HektorT Date: Aug 16, 2010 4:28am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

It's been ruled in the US 9th Circuit Court that lack of a valid notice on a film first published outside of the USA means that for the purposes of copyright law it was never published in the US at all. That means it would have common law copyright protection and is not Public Domain. But if the notice was added at anytime before 1978 then standard rules would apply and it could be PD. This ruling has never been challenged or tested elsewhere in the USA so it's not certain that it would hold up, but many people respect it as the current law, nonetheless. As a result, for GATT films the copyright notice requirement is somewhat reversed.

In this case since the film was actually registered, so maybe that will change the status as the owner obviously attempted to publish the film.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Moongleam Date: Aug 16, 2010 11:15am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

"That means it would have common law copyright protection and is not Public Domain."

How long would that copyright last? It seems that any copyright gained in 1943, for example, would expire after 28 years unless it was renewed. So My Learned Friend is PD whether it had a valid notice or not.


This post was modified by Moongleam on 2010-08-16 18:15:02

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: Fact_Checker Date: Aug 18, 2010 7:34pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

According to section 104A(h) of the present U.S. Copyright Act, in a passage added by Public Law 103-465 (effective date of December 8, 1994):

"(6) The term 'restored work' means an original work of authorship that--
"[...]
"(C) is in the public domain in the United States due to--
"(i) noncompliance with formalities imposed at any time by United States copyright law, including failure of renewal, lack of proper notice, or failure to comply with any manufacturing requirements;"

"Restored work" is the term applying to foreign works previously not under copyright in the U.S. which gained copyright protection through the combination of (a) the above-named 1994 act, and (b) having copyright protection in the country of origin.

From the wording of 104A(h)(6)(C)(i) quoted above, it looks like as long as a British film without a copyright notice (such as "Rembrandt," cited above) enjoyed copyright protection in its own country, it doesn't matter that copyright was at one time lost in the U.S., it was able to get copyright protection under URAA/GATT--since that lack of copyright notice was merely a past-times "noncompliance with formalities."

The first question this raises in my mind is: Was there a rule in place in the U.K. in the 1930s and 1940s that required a work (film or otherwise) to have a copyright notice in order to enjoy British copyright? If not, the film enjoyed British copyright, and it seems that 104A(h)(6)(i) gives it American copyright as well.

If U.K. law of the 1930s and 1940s DID mandate a copyright notice for there to be copyright protection, then the question comes as to whether the film gained British copyright some other way. This is important because, although 104A(h)(6)(i) could be interpreted to give copyright protection to a British film without a copyright notice (contingent upon date of publication, etc.), elsewhere in 104A, it's stated that American copyright won't be conferred on a foreign work via 104A if the work has already exhausted its copyright protection in the country of origin.

Thanks go to Video-Cellar for U.K. law passages that he quotes in his post of August 14, 2010 12:42:58am.

This post was modified by Fact_Checker on 2010-08-19 02:34:04

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: billbarstad Date: Aug 15, 2010 7:34am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Copyright on British films

This stuff gets me confused, obviously. Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad I won't need to have it pulled!